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Expo sees its silver lining

THE 2010 Expo Shanghai organizer began selling Expo silver bars today. The first 10,000 Expo gold bars issued in December were sold out within a month.

The silver bar is available in three sizes – 50, 100, or 1,000 grams. The bar has a blue Haibao, the Expo mascot, and a cityscape engraved on the front and "EXPO" on the back.

Also on sale are a package of five 50-gram bars, each with a Haibao, which joined together form the year "2010" and a cityscape.

The 50-gram bar sells for 468 yuan (US$68.52), and the 1,000-gram bar fort 7,720 yuan. The five 50-gram bar package costs 1,760 yuan.

A total of 24,000 bars are available. People can buy them at any branches of the Bank of Communications or China Golddeal Investment, the official retailer of the bars.

The Expo organizer issued the gold bar, one of a series of three bars that can form a phoenix, on December 18.

The second bar, engraved with the body of the bird, will be issued in October, said Liu Yan, advertising planning manager for the company.

Most of the customers bought the first gold bars as collector's items though some bought them as gifts, Liu said.

She said the value of the gold bars issued in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics was now five times the original price.

The bars were manufactured by the China Banknote Printing and Minting under the country's central bank and are among the 3,000 officially licensed Expo products.

The organizer today held a fair to recruit sellers for licensed products.


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